A.L. Miller gets transformed into affordable living

A.L. Miller High School becomes apartments

A.L. Miller High School has been abandoned for years, and finally, it's getting a little T.L.C.

Developers invested around $16 million to transform it into apartments.

Nicole Butler spoke to a member of the class of 1968 about her memories of the school and seeing it back in use.

Putting on the finishing touches, A.L. Miller Village apartment complex is finally complete, but Janice Ross remembers the building as the former high school.

"You didn't appreciate the architecture and the massive ceilings and the beauty of the building until you are older and you go back and then you remember how wonderful it really was," Ross says.

But as the years passed and the school remained abandoned, some of that charm started crumbling.

"I mean, years we rode by there and you knew, 'It's just going to fall down. Somebody's got to do something with it. It's going to fall down,'" Ross says.

And that somebody was Mark Wright, the president of Oracle Design, who has done historic renovations all around the southeast for more than 37 years.

This is a photo taken before a company took over to transform the school into 62 apartment units.

"The building was on its last leg," Wright says.

Wright says once he saw Miller High School he knew he couldn't let it decay any longer. 

"I remember walking through the building. I would come in with masks on and goggles and gear because every step, every single step would raise dust and it would just fill the air the minute you walk through the building," he says.

So Wright got to work trying to keep the original look of the building while changing the use of the space.

His goal is for many more generations to make memories in this beautiful space just as students like Ross did.

"Just to see their eyes light up and say, 'We are so happy that this was saved,' and that's why you do these projects," Wright says.

Wright says the building is completely energy-efficient.

A.L. Miller Village apartments are leasing out one to three bedroom apartments starting at under $400. 

He says anyone from senior citizens to single mothers to college students is eligible.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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